Bradley Smith leaves Barcelona as the fastest of the MotoGP riders, after heavy rain disrupted testing shortly before midday, and left the track wet for the rest of the day.
The weather meant that some teams were forced to change their plans. Yamaha’s original plan to go riding in the afternoon was scrapped, the factory heading straight to Aragon for two more days of testing. There, they will be joined by Suzuki, as well as a number of Moto2 teams.
Marc Marquez tested a 2014 chassis for the Repsol Honda team, combining last year’s frame with this year’s swingarm and engine. He was generally positive about the results, but as he had only done five laps on the chassis, said it was too short to be sure about it.
He met with his team to draw up a plan to try it again at Assen, but with the weather at Assen looking unstable, they were unsure of having the time to do it. Dani Pedrosa did not try the chassis, as he is already using a different chassis to the one used by his teammate.
The satellite riders spent the limited time they had working on set up. Bradley Smith tried a few solutions for front end feel, three of which worked but in different conditions, giving him some confidence in braking.
His teammate Pol Espargaro also found one improvement, but the Spaniard was uncertain those lessons would transfer to another track. With different grip levels and different types of corners, Espargaro feared that the better feel in the front end would change.
Scott Redding did some laps to continue working on his riding style, rather than trying any new parts. He gained confidence once again, and was one of the few riders to go out in the rain, to get a feel for riding in the wet.
Aleix Espargaro was a faller earlier in the day, the Suzuki rider damaging the new parts the factory had brought for the test. Espargaro was uncertain whether they would have replacements for the parts ready for Aragon.
The rain mainly left a lot of riders feeling frustrated. The Repsol Honda riders had a lot of work to do which they were forced to leave undone. Pol Espargaro had a major program of testing set up which he too had been forced to abandon. Eugene Laverty was due to test a new swingarm on his Open class Honda, but the rain prevented it.
The Factory Ducati team were absent, having elected to skip this test. Only Michele Pirro was circulating for Ducati, testing the bike with the Michelin tires.
MotoGP Testing Results from Catalunya:
|9||Stefan Bradl||Forward Yamaha||1:42.747||0.729||0.074|
|15||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1:44.054||2.036||0.835|
|16||Loris Baz||Forward Yamaha||1:44.249||2.231||0.195|
Source: MotoGP; Photo: Monster Yamaha Tech 3